The Formation of Civil Engineering in the Ottoman Empire

Promotors: Mario Rinke, Mascarenhas Mateus (University of Lisbon)

This research project investigates the formation of civil engineering in the Ottoman Empire by focusing on the scientific knowledge and engineering practices during the 19th century and early 20th century. More specifically, this research focuses on conceptual exchange in science through various textbooks and construction technology through the infrastructure practices. Accordingly, both perspectives will shed light on how civil engineers shaped their knowledge by the reciprocal relationship between theory and practice. In doing so, this analysis draws upon a diverse range of primary sources, including various textbooks, archival materials, such as laws, photographs, diplomatic correspondence, and diaries. Based on archival material documenting the design process and construction phases, this demonstrates how a productive network was formed and which relationships were crucial. Through this approach, the research aims to shift away from the traditional tendency in 19th-century studies to attribute knowledge production solely to individuals, groups, countries, or organizations. Therefore, by repositioning itself within broader political, economic, and cultural contexts, the research highlights how history can be seen as a dynamic knowledge movement that fosters dialogue and mutual learning.

Göksu Bridge, next to Anadolu Fortress.

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